A study on the state of housing in six CARICOM countries has revealed that approximately US$1.8 billion is needed to end poor housing conditions for more than one million citizens.
The study by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) looked at the housing problem in The Bahamas, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.
The study, which analyzed the implementation of social housing programs in the Caribbean from 2000 to 2015, underscores the importance of housing to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and the larger agenda in poverty alleviation, economic development, and climate resilience.
It noted that rapid urbanization has created a housing deficit in the Caribbean, prompting a large share of the population to live in informal settlements that are disproportionately affected by landslides, flooding, and storm surges.
The study notes that Caribbean governments need to incorporate into their social housing programmes measures to protect homes against rising sea level because half of the population in the region lives within five kilometers from the coastline.